Toronto Film Festival recalls Sept. 11

Sept. 11, 2011 at 2:08 PM

TORONTO, Sept. 11 (UPI) -- Organizers of the Toronto Film Festival Sunday commemorated the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks that nearly scuttled their event in 2001.

Each movie screened Sunday was preceded by a 4-minute video of recollections from festival customers, guests and staff members about the day 10 years ago when it was decided the show would go on despite the historic events taking place south of the border.

Piers Handling, chief executive officer of the festival, told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. they quickly eliminated glitzy elements such as the red carpet and parties. "The film is really about what happened in that moment, when we were at this celebratory event, this horrible thing happened, people couldn't get home and what we did to get through it together," he said.

Handling says he and his staff had no idea at the time if they were doing the right thing; however their judgment paid off when good crowds showed up for screenings on Sept. 12. "Our audience was there," he said. "There was a desire for people in the city to get together in a community and actually share experiences and that was what the festival provided for them."

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